How to prevent and get rid of cockroaches in your home: Part 2

There are preventative measures that can be taken by the homeowner to protect their families and properties from the infestation. However, if your home is already infested following these simple steps can minimize damage and eradicate infestation.

There are preventative measures that can be taken by the homeowner to protect their families and properties from the infestation of cockroaches. However, if your home is already infested and if left untreated, cockroaches can quickly establish themselves in high numbers and will spread to adjoining properties. They can potentially transmit disease and spread bacteria all over your home. Following these simple steps can minimize damage and eradicate infestation.

  • Find the source- Observe the cockroaches and try to figure out where they are coming from and seal the entry point with clear caulk.
  • Eliminate their food sources- Keep food material in an airtight container as any open lying food can easily attract cockroaches and don’t leave food out for extended periods
  • Eliminate their water source- Find and repair all water leaks. Insulate pipes to prevent humidity and condensation under kitchen units and around the toilet.
  • Keep your home clean- Clean and sanitize all the kitchen appliances thoroughly. The food remnants and spills in and around your microwave, toaster, fridge and other devices may provide the cockroaches with food for months. Make sure to vacuum and take out the trash regularly.
  • Do-it-yourself control- Use caution when using cockroach “sprays”. Most sprays contain a “flushing” agent that drives roaches out into un-infested areas. You may increase the scope of the problem. Try bait stations containing fipronil (not chlorpyrifos). If these do not work, try gel baits. Gel baits are less hazardous to people and pets, they are applied on smaller surfaces, and they generally last longer.
  • Call an expert- In some cases do-it-yourself products may be effective in getting rid of smaller cockroach problems, but if you are unable to get rid of these pests yourself, it may be time to contact a pest control expert in your area. 

Remember: Cockroaches are a high risk pest to have in your home and no matter how hard you try to eradicate them, these attempts may fail. So it is necessary to take all possible safeguard measures once you see at least one of these creatures in your dwelling. If you suspect you have an infestation, contact a licensed pest professional to identify the species and recommend a course of treatment.

Michigan State University Extension offers financial management and home ownership education classes. For more information of classes in your area, go to either the events page or the MI Money Health webpage.

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